The Annual Werner Grilk Lecture in German Studies
"A Precarious Happiness Negativity and Normativity in Adorno", Professor Peter E. Gordon
PETER E. GORDON is the Amabel B. James Professor of History, Faculty Affiliate in the Department of Germanic Languages and Literatures, and Faculty Affiliate in the Department of Philosophy at Harvard University. He is primarily a critical theorist and an historian of modern European philosophy and social thought, specializing in Frankfurt School critical theory, phenomenology, existentialism, and Western Marxism. He has published major works on Heidegger, the Frankfurt School, Jürgen Habermas, and Theodor W. Adorno. His book Rosenzweig and Heidegger: Between Judaism and German Philosophy (2003) received four international awards, including the Salo Baron Prize for the best book in Jewish history, the Goldstein-Goren Prize for the best book in Jewish philosophy, and the Forkosch Prize from the Journal of the History of Ideas. His second book, Continental Divide: Heidegger, Cassirer, Davos (2010) received the Jacques Barzun Prize from the American Philosophical Society, one of the most distinguished awards in European and American cultural history. His third and more recent monograph, Adorno and Existence, was published by Harvard University Press in 2016, and was reviewed in periodicals such as Critical Inquiry (by Robert Pippin) and The New York Review of Books. His next book, Migrants in the Profane: Critical Theory and the Question of Secularization, based on lectures he gave at Yale University in the Franz Rosenzweig Lectures in Modern Jewish Thought, is forthcoming from Yale University Press (Fall, 2020). He is also co-author of Authoritarianism: Three Inquiries in Critical Theory with Wendy Brown and Max Pensky (2018). In June, 2019, on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of Theodor W. Adorno's death in 1969, he delivered the Adorno Vorlesungen at the Institute for Social Research at the Goethe-Universität Frankfurt, on the theme, "Adorno and the Sources of Normativity." The lectures, widely reviewed in the German press, including the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeiting, are currently available online from the Institut für Sozialforschung, and will be published by Suhrkamp Verlag.
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